Marketing: Tips For Working With Local Press

Congratulations! You’ve officially made it to February. Everyone, take in a big breath of fresh air. The New Year’s rush has settled, but hopefully you’re still getting plenty of foot traffic and inquiries at your gym.

There’s no doubt that you worked hard to prepare your club and staff for this time of year. You put together an unbeatable offer for new members, added a few new programs to keep current members engaged, and inspired your staff members to sell people on more than a membership.

But we’re forgetting one audience: the media. Securing media spots and bits with PR for your business is a must right now. Imagine the exposure you’ll get with segments on the local evening news or a feature in the newspaper. When you pair local press placement with your traditional marketing efforts (direct mail, community flyers, etc.), you’re sure to stay in the public eye throughout the year.

Not sure how to get started? Follow these three easy tips to establish a relationship with the local media.

Actually follow the media. This is a must. You need to know what’s going on in the news and who is reporting it. Pay close attention to what’s popular in health and wellness. Additionally, you should follow the reporters and writers who cover health, wellness and fitness. Business and community event beat reporters are great connections too. Beyond watching and reading the news, get social with the media. Follow and like reporters and media outlets on Facebook and Twitter. You can find their contact information on these platforms — use that for sending your pitches. Comment and “like” their posts and tweets. This will show that you’re engaged in what’s going on in your community.

Bring the hype. The next step is crafting a pitch that’s not only timely, but that’s impossible for reporters to ignore. How do you do this? Hype. Make your pitch big and use buzzwords. If it doesn’t make you excited as a reader, there’s no way a reporter will want to pick it up. If it’s an in-club event, talk about what makes it special — like a donation or special incentive for attendees. If you’re launching a new campaign or program, showcase how it sets your brand apart from the competition. When it comes to PR, the more details, the better.

Always be professional. Once you send your press release or news pitch to media contacts, keep an eye on your email and phone. If a reporter follows up with you, they’ll likely be on a tight deadline. Get back to them as soon as you can and accommodate to their needs. That may mean connecting for a phone interview or sending a high-resolution photo of your gym. If you’re timely, kind and personable, reporters are more likely to work with you again.

 

1 Comment

  1. Linda Mitchell

    February 1, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Very good tips for creating a bond with your local media. It really is all about getting to know them and making them like you. Most PR people are already likable, that is why you got into the field and are good at it. Use this to your advantage. One more tip, don’t be a wallflower…get out of your club and attend local business meetings, join groups, like the chamber and get involved in charity. This is where the reporters are, so you will get face time.

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